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Nissan Leaf crushing Chevy Volt on Google, Facebook and more

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Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Sedan, Marketing/Advertising, Hatchback, Chevrolet, Nissan, Electric

Nissan Leaf Google Trends

If Google Trends is an accurate indicator of eventual success, the Nissan Leaf will be a smash hit. At the very least, it looks to be more popular than the Chevy Volt. The latest trends show that interest in the Leaf, as calculated by search volume and news articles, is nearly double that of the Volt. We don't have to use Google as the only indicator that interest in the Leaf is high, just take a look at the Leaf's Facebook page, which lists more than 54,000 fans (something Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is particularly proud of), while the Volt has only managed to rack up 24,000. If you still doubt that the Leaf is leading the online popularity contest, then look no further than the official interest lists for each vehicle. As GM-Volt.com reports, the Leaf's is 130,000 strong, whereas the Volt only has 42,000.

Now, there's no real way to translate these numbers into eventual, actual sales, nor can we predict success based on statistics alone. For that, we'll have to wait until these the new EVs go on sale later this year and the real-world results allow us to crown a champion. Still, current indicators suggest that the Leaf is hot, hot, hot.

[source: Google trends, GM-Volt, Facebook]

Nissan Leaf crushing Chevy Volt on Google, Facebook and more originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 05 Jun 2010 11:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PurdueGuy    72

Interest isn't the same thing as sales. I think Nissan will find that a lot of people who find the Leaf interesting will find that it doesn't meet their needs well enough to justify the costs. I wouldn't be surprised if the Leaf is reasonably successful as a niche vehicle, though.

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SAmadei    224

As Croc mentions, yeah, everyone knows about the Volt. Its been 5 years of Volt this and Volt that. In the computer software field, vaporware only goes so far... if you used a similar gauge to compare, say, Blur, GT5 and Duke Nukem Forever, I think you'd find similar numbers with Blur taking the win and DNF barely registering a bump.

The Leaf and Volt saga is a typical Japanese vs. GM. GM is totally blowing the timing... Nissan is dead on.

In 5 yrs, or 6, by the time its on lots being sold, you could have completed High School or College. Your kids will burn away 33% of their childhood. You will have likely bought 2 more cars... and moved to another house. 5 years is too long to be dangling product, REGARDLESS of how earth-shattering it is.

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CSpec    515

Google Trends is pretty accurate actually. Hal Varian (Google's chief economist) published a paper comparing Google trends hits with monthly auto sales figures. Spookily correlated.

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hyperv6    774

The Leaf is a big unknown to many yet. It is just in the last few month been getting a lot of press.

I think that in the long run the Volt will appeal to the average car buyer more than the Leaf. The Volt has a lot more going for it. Not only can you drive it anywhere any time and refuel it on a whim but it looks a heck of a lot better than the frog looking leaf.

Once the Volts roll out it will do well. GM has set the number of car to sell at a good number and as long as it performs well many will pay the price. For some reason these cars appeal to many of the Green religion.

Lord knows I remember a lot of people paying $30,000 plus for the Pruis for a good while just to get one.

I just wonder how many will run the Leafs out of power along the road with no way for a quick charge. The Volt I think in the end will blow a way the Leaf.

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ocnblu    773

"The Volt I think in the end will blow a way (sic) the Leaf."

Hey, are you calling the Volt a glorified leafblower?

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hyperv6    774

"The Volt I think in the end will blow a way (sic) the Leaf."

Hey, are you calling the Volt a glorified leafblower?

The new marketing plan.

See the USA in the new Volt by Chevrolet, It will blow the Leaf away!

It can show a tow truck taking a dead Leaf from the side of the road after someone tired to make it home on a low charge. That is all the message America needs to see.

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ocnblu    773

It can show a tow truck taking a dead Leaf from the side of the road after someone tired to make it home on a low charge.

Agreed, I imagine the Leaf driver would get tired if he had to push his plug-in Datsun when the batteries run down.

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smk4565    351

I think the interest in the Leaf is that it is electric only and can go 100 miles. The Volt can only do 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in. Plus the Leaf starts around $32,000, so it appears to be around $8000 less than a Volt. Many may see the Volt as another hybrid, or a Prius you can plug in, but the Leaf is a being electric only is a little more different.

I wonder if the Leaf cost less to maintain because electric motors have one moving part, it is much simpler than a gas engine. The Volt though has gas and the electrical system, that could lead to higher maintenance costs than traditional gas vehicles.

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ocnblu    773

I would feel much more secure stepping off on a long trip in a Volt than the glorified golfcart that is the Nissan Leaf.

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

I think the interest in the Leaf is that it is electric only and can go 100 miles. The Volt can only do 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in. Plus the Leaf starts around $32,000, so it appears to be around $8000 less than a Volt. Many may see the Volt as another hybrid, or a Prius you can plug in, but the Leaf is a being electric only is a little more different.

I wonder if the Leaf cost less to maintain because electric motors have one moving part, it is much simpler than a gas engine. The Volt though has gas and the electrical system, that could lead to higher maintenance costs than traditional gas vehicles.

Of course the Leaf costs less to maintain. You can only drive it 100 miles a day.

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smk4565    351

Of course the Leaf costs less to maintain. You can only drive it 100 miles a day.

Which would equate to 36,500 miles a year. And you could charge the Leaf twice per day and drive more than that.

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Z-06    493

Which would equate to 36,500 miles a year. And you could charge the Leaf twice per day and drive more than that.

This is one of the most asinine comments I have ever seen from you.

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Satty    338

In theory,one could charge the Leaf overnight, drive it 100 miles to work, charge it while at work and drive 100 miles home. Still not quite as painless as the Volt. The Volt's problem is going to be the price tag, $40,000 for a Cruze with an unproven powertrain isn't going to be the easiest sell.

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PurdueGuy    72

Except you couldn't plan to drive the Leaf 100 miles, because as soon as something becomes not ideal in the trip (a hill, traffic, swerving to not hit a cat), your range is going to drop & you won't make it to your destination. Unless their 100 mile range has a safety factor designed in, the most you could probably plan to drive is more like 80 miles, so you don't get stranded at the first detour or change in conditions.

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Z-06    493

Till the range of electric only vehicles reaches a range of conventional vehicles with a charging capability of a few hours, these vehicles are as good as EV-1.

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

Which would equate to 36,500 miles a year. And you could charge the Leaf twice per day and drive more than that.

Three point that you'll ignore:

1. Nissan says the 24 kWh pack gives the Leaf a 100-mile range on the gentle LA4 cycle (meaning it probably isn't a totally reliable guide to estimate real-world driving).

2. Once out in the real world, Nissan expects most Leaf charging to be done using Level 2 (240V) units...Level 2 chargers can get the pack from zero to 100 percent in about eight hours.

3. Level 1, aka recharging from a standard 110V outlet, will be "more for emergencies," Perry said. It'll also take ages (think 20+ hours). So if you're stopping at a hotel for the night... plan for an extra day of charging if they don't have a 220v outlet for you to hook up to.

I wouldn't dare own a Leaf here in Pittsburgh. Even just getting to the airport and back could be an adventure. Sure, it's only 30 miles one way, but I have 2 tunnels* and some major hills to get over. If I hit traffic, then I'm sunk.

If you have a commute to work that is very predictable, reliable, and within the Leaf's operating range, then it might make a good second car. Otherwise, stick with a Volt, or if you can stomach the looks, a plug in Prius.

*For those who don't know, all of the tunnels in Pittsburgh a major congestion points.

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pow    106

You don't use any electricity in an EV car or hybrid when you're stuck in traffic, and if you have to go up a hill, you'll likely go down again... which will just charge the battery. I've been in a MINI E and it's remarkably efficient in stop-and-go situations because of its aggressive regen braking. You hardly need the brake pedal to slow down.

Also keep in mind many cities are developing a plug-in infrastructure. This applies equally for the Volt, too, cause you want to use the ICE as little as possible.

Edited by pow

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

you do when you're creeping along in traffic and have the A/C going because it's 82 degrees and downpouring.

You don't get all your energy back when you go down the other side of the hill.... climbing a hill in an EV is not zero sum

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smk4565    351

Except you couldn't plan to drive the Leaf 100 miles, because as soon as something becomes not ideal in the trip (a hill, traffic, swerving to not hit a cat), your range is going to drop & you won't make it to your destination. Unless their 100 mile range has a safety factor designed in, the most you could probably plan to drive is more like 80 miles, so you don't get stranded at the first detour or change in conditions.

Which could be true, but then using the same philosophy the Volt's actual range would be closer to 30 miles than 40. Whether it be 30 or 40 miles, after that point, the Volt is no different than a Prius. So people that need range might as well buy a Prius and save $15,000. The Leaf would be more usable as an electric only car, 80-100 miles a day is a lot of driving. The Leaf is more of a leap forward since it is an electric car that is affordable and can be used every day. The Volt is more like the next step after the Prius. I wouldn't buy either one, but I think an all electric car has more novelty than a gas/electric.

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hyperv6    774

Until the infrastructure is in place the all electric car will be a novelty. Unless you can charge it away from home it is a very limited vehicle.

Until the batteries improve it is useless on trips.

Also as we in the north know the winter time will make this car pay a large penalty in power in the deep cold.

The fact is the Volt is a car that anyone can live with as a daily driver and an only car. If you own a Leaf it will have to be limited in drving and often will have to be a second or third car. People would have to own another car if they do any travel out side of town

Heck a Leaf would not do the LA to San Diego trip that I have done many times. The Leaf would be pressed to even cross LA.

I agree it is just another glorified golf cart and nothing more till you can plug it in at the office or the mall.

Edited by hyperv6

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